Rep. Reed’s Real Estate Deals Raises Questions about Character

Two related, simple real estate transactions made by Tom Reed before he became Corning’s Mayor turned out to be anything but routine. Reed’s actions raises questions of the ethicality, and maybe even the legality, of the transactions. Although these events happened seven and five years ago, the constituents of the NY 23rd should have a full picture of the person who represents us in congress, and is asking us to re-elect him.

Mack Road runs through rural Steuben County in the Town of Tuscarora, south of Corning and close to the Pennsylvania  border. There are only four properties in the  Tuscarora portion of Mack Road.  Harold “Bud” Dailey bought one of those properties, a parcel of 107 acres of forest, in 1999. Dailey was owner of Bud Dailey Construction Company, a popular long-time public servant, and the Chairman of a power City of Corning board. Three years after he purchased the land,  Dailey transferred ownership of the property to his son, Kevin.  A seasonal hunting cabin was built on the property in 2004.Mack Road.aspx

Corning Attorney Tom Reed announced that he was going to run for Mayor of Corning on June 6,  2007. Six weeks later he purchased the Mack Road forest property from Kevin Dailey for $45,369.61. The land and cabin had assessed value of $3,500.

According to Steuben County records the deed was notarized by Julie Dailey, Kevin’s mother and Bud’s wife, on July 21, 2007. It was filed with the Steuben County Clerk on July 25, 2008—more than a year after Reed purchased the land!

At the time of the land purchase, Bud Dailey was the Chair of Corning’s Board of Assessment Review. The Board rules when property owners appeal their property value assessment. The Board has the power to reduce the assessments, which affects the amount of taxes they pay. This is a powerful position.

Dailey endorsed Reed and began to campaign with him. Realizing this, Mayor Frank Coccho did not reappoint Dailey to that Board. Reed defeated Coccho in November 2007. At his first meeting as Mayor, Reed re-appointed Dailey to the Board of Assessment Review.

On July 1, 2009, Mayor Reed announced that he was going to run for Congress. On July 30, Reed returned the  Mack Road Property, 107 acres and the hunting cabin to Jillian Dailey, sister of Kevin, and daughter of Bud and Julie. He GAVE it to her; she PAID NOTHING for it. Reed even paid the fees!

Let’s summarized—Tom Reed gave the Dailey family $45,369.61 in June, 2007 and received 2 years use of the 107 acre forest parcel with a seasonal cabin. He also received the endorsement of a contractor, business owner, and popular powerful public servant.

We have to wonder:

Why was  the deed not filed with the County Clerk for more than a year? The reason that comes to mind is that he wanted to hide the transaction. Then the question…What was he trying to hide?

Why did he give the property back to the Dailey family? Did he ever use the property at all?

How did Bud Dailey helped  Reed during and after the campaign?

Digging Deeper—Rep. Reed’s Federal Disclosure Statement as a candidate (from January 1, 2009 to April 1, 2010)  did not list the Tuscarora property as an asset, although he had owned the property until July 30, 2009. The funny things is, he did list it in his statements for Calendar Years 2010 and 2011, although he did not own the property during that time.

After talking with real estate agents and the local County Clerk, I am pretty well convinced by that it is not illegal to delay filing a deed transfer with the County Clerk. They don’t recommend it, but it is not illegal.

These events should tell us a lot about Rep. Reed’s character. They have the appearance of misconduct,  possibility bordering on corruption.  I know that the art of politics is to do what you can to 1) get into power and 2) stay in power and Reed is good at politics. He gets his power by helping the wealthy get wealthier, not by helping the working people of our district. We don’t need to accept a representative like Tom Reed.

What a welcome relief it would be to have a representative who has scruples, who cares for the constituents, and has a record of solving problems. We can have that representative by electing Martha Robertson on November 4.


About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
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21 Responses to Rep. Reed’s Real Estate Deals Raises Questions about Character

  1. Anne says:

    The fact of the late filing is the thing that troubles me the least about this information. So many questions!


  2. whungerford says:

    This is a fascinating account of shady dealings. Tom’s 2011. 12. 13 financial reports list “Mineral Rights Land. in Tuscarora”, which reportedly had “no value.” Did Tom perhaps retain the mineral rights?


  3. BOB McGILL says:

    and I’m sure that you didn’t leave out any important details did you 🙂
    I have a question for Deb, do you really own your business or is it just in your name to take advantage of PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT given to businesses owned by women and minorities by the Federal Government ?


  4. pystew says:

    I have added links to the deeds. There is no mention in the deeds to the mineral rights.


  5. solodm says:

    Your answers Bob –
    Yes, I really own my business.
    I have never taken advantage of government loans, women owned opportunities, or other properly administered offers.

    Now a question for you, Bob.
    How is that you feel comfortable with the obvious ethical strains Tom Reed puts on his office and position of power?


  6. whungerford says:

    Links to Tom’s financial reports can be found here:


  7. Anne says:

    Also, as per the thread a couple of posts back, at least we now know what Reed’s price is.


  8. whungerford says:

    In 2007, the land and cabin had assessed value of $3,500 but the market value was much higher–today it is about $96,000.


  9. Anne says:

    Why, I wonder, would you even list an item on a financial report if it’s truly of no value?


  10. Anne says:

    ….so, the owner (and/or his family) was also the assessor, and therefore able to make an assessment–and create a tax liability–of around 4% of what it’s actually worth?


  11. whungerford says:

    The assessment seems reasonable–a similar, nearby property has a similar assessment. Start here, then search for Tuscarora Mack Rd.


  12. pystew says:

    Bud Dailey was not the assessor. Assessing a property is a Town’s action, and each hire an assessor. The City of Corning has a Board of Assessment Review. They listen to property owners if they think their assessment is too high. They can reduce the assessment for City taxes. They can not change the assessment used for School, Town, or School taxes. (Towns have a similar board.)


  13. Susan says:

    It is all ugly.


  14. BOB McGILL says:

    all politics are crooked, more so at the local level. I have seen enough of Martha’s BS to know that she is worse than Tom. Besides you people are so full of crap if I were Martha I would tell you to stop and GO AWAY.


  15. BOB McGILL says:

    ” Yes, I really own my business.
    I have never taken advantage of government loans, women owned opportunities, or other properly administered offers.”

    CRAP ! 30% of all government contracts have to go to minorty and women owned business ! Now tell me the government thinks you’re a man.
    Besides I not stupid enough to think YOU WOULDN’T LIE, you lie all the time.


  16. whungerford says:

    Rather than a political shenanigan, this transaction likely was a business deal in which lawyer Reed acted as an intermediary for clients.


  17. BOB McGILL says:

    how’s this for political shenanigans,
    ” AARP in New York issued an objection Wednesday to congressional candidate Martha Robertson’s use of the association’s name and logo in a campaign ad.

    Beth Finkel, state director for AARP in New York, issued a statement after learning of its name and logo appearing in the Ithaca Democrat’s campaign ads in the race for the 23rd Congressional District seat held by U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning.

    “AARP does not endorse candidates, or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates,” Finkel said. “AARP did not authorize the use of its name or logo in currently running Martha Robertson campaign ads.”

    The AARP logo appears in one segment of the 30-second ad.

    Finkel said AARP is nonpartisan and only offers information to voters on where candidates stand on issues. “


  18. Anne says:

    …so, that 70% remaining all goes to the white men? Talk about oppressed.


  19. Deb Meeker says:

    Your insults and erroneous conclusions aside, Bob, you didn’t answer my question.


  20. solodm says:

    It is rather odd, that AARP didn’t complain when Tom Reed used a huge picture of their label on his own Facebook page..


  21. Tom Loid says:

    I cannot confirm this, but I had heard a few years ago that the property had access to water and Reed bought it to supply water to the fracking industry.


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